A demanding work schedule. After school activities with your kids. Rush hour traffic. The distance from a good therapist. Now more than ever, our available time is stretched to the limit. Within this framework, problems like anxiety disorders, OCD, depression, trichotillomania, or other mental health issues can pop up for both you and your kids, but how do you find the time and space for therapy?
Online therapy is an increasingly popular way of addressing the issues that you face, while also fitting into your busy schedule.
Why Choose Online Therapy?
- It’s convenient – I offer appointments throughout the week, at a variety of times. No matter how busy you are, you can find the time for an online session. There’s no travel to and from the office, no traffic to deal with. You can do it in your pajamas if you want to.
- It gives you options – You’re no longer limited by having to visit a therapist within a 15-20 mile radius. Much of what I treat are disorders that require special training, and specific expertise. Quite often, those who suffer from these disorders have no one close to them who specializes in treating them. With online therapy, it’s just a click away.
- It’s effective – Since you have so many options available, you can choose the right therapist for your needs. Research shows that it is as effective as in person therapy, and perhaps even more so. According to a 2013 study conducted by the University of Zurich, people who received treatment online showed a slightly greater reduction in depression symptoms than those who saw a therapist in person. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130730091255.htm
4 Tips for Online Therapy
Online therapy is a little different than conventional therapy. Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of your experience:
1) Set aside a space that’s private and free from distraction – While the convenience of being able to do this from home is great, it’s not without some potential pitfalls. Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, kids, dogs, phones…there are a lot more opportunities for distraction. Remember that this is YOUR time to work on YOUR life. It’s the 45 minutes per week that you get to just focus on this. Don’t let anything take that away from you. Designate a place in your home (or wherever you are) that gives you that privacy. Let your loved ones know that you need some uninterrupted time to yourself. And if at all possible, turn off your phone.
2) “Get there” 10 minutes early – This sounds a little funny, because it’s likely that you’re already in the location where you’ll be receiving therapy. What it means is that you should give yourself an opportunity to mentally transition, and think about what you would like to talk about in your session. If you were just making dinner 30 seconds before starting, you’re probably not going to get as much quality out of those first few minutes.
3) Have tissues handy – Tissues are always a must have for us therapists, for obvious reasons. You don’t want be in the middle of pouring your heart out, just to have to get up and search for where you left your box of Kleenex.
4) Use Headphones – Similar to the idea of setting space aside for therapy, headphones help you not only hear better, they also help you focus on the interaction between you and your therapist.
It is extremely important that you are comfortable with the kind of therapy that you are receiving. If you don’t like the idea of seeing a therapist over the internet, then I certainly wouldn’t try to talk you out of it. I can throw out statistics, case studies, or even my own personal experiences with it, but if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of receiving therapy online, you shouldn’t do it.
With that being said, clients often feel as though they’re able to connect with their therapist in a way that they aren’t able to in person. Sometimes it’s because there’s a greater comfort level in delving into your life when you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home, rather than at some stuffy office. Other clients enjoy being able to share their personal surroundings with their therapist, or enjoy the occasional hello from one of my dogs, Charlie and Peanut.
I’d like to do online therapy, but computers hate me
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a computer wiz to figure out the process. The steps are as follows:
- Receive an email from me, inviting you to join a video conference. Click yes. You will then be led to www.securevideo.com.
- Install VSee. (more on what this is later, but installing it is pretty easy, and only has to be done once)
- Click “Enter Waiting Room” from the page you are already on.
- We’re connected! If you’re there a little early (which I recommend), you’ll just see yourself on the video feed.
Not so bad, is it? Either way, you will have a free meeting with my technical staff prior to your first session, to make sure that you are completely comfortable and familiar with the process. This way, your therapy sessions focus on healing and growth, not IT stuff!
For a step by step tutorial that also includes pictures, please visit: http://www.securevideo.com/HowItWorks/Participant
Frequently Asked Questions
What is VSee? – VSee is a group video chat and screen-sharing software tool. It is similar to Skype. You download it, you register/log in, and it enables you to video chat with others.
Is online therapy private? – Yes, although keep in mind that this is the internet, and it would be foolish to make guarantees about anything. With that being said, VSee is HIPAA compliant, which means that technical safeguards (such as encryption) are in place to protect your privacy and medical information, in compliance with federal law. For more information on VSee’s privacy protection, please visit: http://vsee.com/blog/nsa-encryption-vidyo-security/
What About Skype? – I do not use Skype, because it is not HIPAA compliant.
Can I do online therapy on my phone? iPad? – Yes. VSee is compatible with both iPhone, and Android phones, as well as iPads, although there may be difficulty with older models. Check here to see if your phone or tablet is compatible. https://hub.securevideo.com/Knowledge/Details/50#iphones
I don’t live in California? Can you see me via online therapy? – Unfortunately, no. State law requires that a therapist is licensed in the state that their client resides in.
How do I schedule an appointment? – Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (424) 262-2014.Book An Appointment